A London property investment company has been forced to apologise after trying to jump the queue for the new Covid-19 vaccine. The firm offered doctors £5,000 for every jab they could give to its staff, attempting to get people vaccinated before the elderly and vulnerable.
As more information came to light, doctors around Britain confirmed that the firm was offering up to £100,000 for the vaccines for the workforce at The Hacking Trust. The company was investigated and was found to have sent an email to multiple NHS surgeries offering cash rewards for immunising its ‘frontline staff’.
Offering a bribe?
GPs who heard from the property firm said they were offered up to £5,000 for each injection administered to the workforce of 20 people. The email stated that the £5,000 could be paid either directly to the GP or as a charitable donation. The firm later released a statement apologising for its ‘misinterpreted’ message and stated that it had only ‘good intentions’.
Back in November, the government vowed that private companies would not be allowed to buy the vaccines before they had been given to the general public. This is a free vaccine offered by the NHS and was never intended to be available for private sales.
Not just one company
The Hacking Trust issue has bought to light concerns that the Covid-19 vaccines could appear on the black market. Companies have been said to have put aside thousands of pounds in the hope of getting their hands on single doses of the vaccine for their staff.
In the email sent by the company, the firm was said to have called itself a private medical company that was looking to vaccinate its front-line staff as soon as possible; however, the firm describes itself on its website as a market leader in the property sector that specialises in purchasing properties.
Most firms compliant
These behaviours are in significant contrast to the myriad firms that have continued to operate safely and observe the rules, including other property investment companies and those that provide building survey London-wide services and a host of related property services. The vast majority of firms have in no way attempted to jump the queue or offer cash for vaccines.
As the UK property market remains relatively buoyant, fuelled by the stamp duty holiday that is currently scheduled to end on 31 March 2021, demand for the kind of specialist service that building survey London firms can provide has remained high. Other related specialists are seeing similar high demand and pressure and are continuing to follow the rules.
It has been reported in the last few months that companies and wealthy individuals have been offering large sums of money to jump the queue for the vaccine. Doctors have come forward with such requests, stating how tempting this could be for practitioners who want to raise equity, expand their surgeries or purchase much-needed equipment.
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